Sociology Major Goals and Objectives

Sociology majors will acquire “sociological literacy” such that a student will be able to:
a.  describe the similarities and differences between sociology and other social sciences,
b.  define, give examples, and demonstrate the relevance of key sociological concepts and their fundamental interrelationships,
c.  identify society and culture as socially constructed realities,
d.  identify the structures and patterns upon which everyday life rests,
e.  describe the interplay between individual choice and social influence,
f.  identify global and domestic diversity in cultures and social systems.

Sociology majors will understand the role of theory in sociology, such that the student will be able to:
a.  define theory and describe its role in building sociological knowledge,
b.  compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations,
c.  show how theories reflect the historical context of times and cultures in which they were
developed,
d.  describe & apply some basic theories in at least one area of social reality.

Sociology majors will understand the role of evidence and both quantitative and qualitative sociological research methods, such that the student will be able to:
a.  identify basic methodological approaches and describe the role of methods in building sociological knowledge,
b.  compare and contrast basic methodological approaches for gathering data,
c.  link theoretical constructs to research questions,
d.  write a clear and concise report of the findings from empirical sociological analysis,
e.  to present sociological research findings in a clear manner,
f.  use standard software packages, such as SPSS and Excel, to analyze data,
g.  critically assess a published research report and explain how the study could have been improved.

Sociology majors will appreciate the role and significance of social diversity and social justice concerns to the discipline of sociology, such that the student will be able to:
a.  explain how personal and cultural values result from and affect social processes,
b.  explain why social differentiations by race/ethnicity, gender, and social class, and their subsequent effects, have been enduring themes in sociological inquiry, 
c.  explain the importance of ethical practice for sociologists, including addressing the research needs of marginalized populations and considering social-structural influences when articulating policy implications/suggestions,
d.  explain why ethnocentrism is contrary to social scientific principles as well as social justice concerns.